Lifestyle, Cars + Tech

First Drive: Lexus UX 200

First Drive: Lexus UX 200

Sophisticated, urban and dynamic, the Lexus UX was first unveiled at 2018 Geneva Motor Show, marking the brand’s first foray into the SUV market. Inspired to give a new sense of adventure in every gearhead, the subcompact luxury crossover SUV is conceived by Chika Kako, Lexus’ first female chief engineer and her team. Finally made its way to Malaysian shores, the 2020 edition of the Lexus UX 200 is an upgraded version that boasts indispensable hi-tech features.

Made for the urban explorers, as its name suggests, the Lexus UX 200 combination of the versatility of an SUV and sleek styling of a hatchback can only be described with one word: stylish. It has the striking appearance a vehicle with premium price point should have: the impressive front, the streamlined shape and the contemporary rear. Making an eyeful with the iconic spindle grille in block-shape mesh pattern, the LED headlights are crafted in similar fashion adorning with ultra-compact LED headlamps, the L-shaped daytime running lights and vertical illumination lines for superior visibility. It is further enhanced with the aerodynamic designs of the aero stabilising wheel arch mouldings and rear combination lamps to reduce wind resistance for improved control.

Underpinned by the concept of Engawa, the Japanese traditional architecture that connects inside with the outside seamlessly, the interior oozing an aura of grandeur showcases fine Japanese craftsmanship that the brand is closely tied up with. The seat is outfitted in leather treated with Sashiko quilting. When you’re snugged in the driver’s seat, the dashboard decorated in new trim grain finish inspired by Japanese Washi paper comes into view. You will find the cockpit quite driver-friendly as it is created slightly curvy to facilitate the driver to control abounding functions such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, switching of drive modes, pulling of gear shift and the use of touchpad. It also offers a wide field of vision that drivers of any builds can easily keep tabs on the traffic condition (of which my co-driver agreed!).

A ride in the Lexus UX 200 is as much about revelling in the comfort and luxury as enjoying the smooth driving experience. In a sweet spot between gentleness and agility, the modern motor is able to speed up without being too aggressive, perfect for urbanites who favour a safe and sound drive. With the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine possessing 169 horsepower, it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 9.2 seconds. The stunner is pretty flexible as it comes with 10-speed Direct-Shift Continuously Variable Transmission and three drive modes including normal, eco and sport.

It is de rigueur for a luxury car to be packed with hi-tech wizardry nowadays. From smart connectivity that allows the driver to access their phone easily to road assisting functions that give peace of mind, the UX 200 is no exception. Elevating safety, the premium car with All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will help to maintain a preset distance from the vehicle ahead and adjust the speed according to the traffic condition, be it one is zooming along the highways or creeping through stop-and-go traffic. Other features include Pre-Collision System, Lane Tracing Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. One thing that I particularly like is the Hands- Free Power Rear Hatch that can be operated with a simple leg sweeping motion.

Set at a starting price of RM243,888, the Lexus UX 200 – available in three versions including the UX 200 Urban, the UX 200 Luxury and the UX 200 F-Sport – might not be the most luxurious or the best performance car out there, but it is definitely one decent creation that promises an amazing driving experience with the essentials you would expect for an opulent motor.



Discover more about the Lexus UX 200 here. This story first appeared in the April 2020 issue of Men’s Folio Malaysia.